In a completely sealed room, there was a three-meter-tall offering table surrounded by a dozen of various-colored formation flags. The flags glowed with light and formed a temporary spell formation. On the table, there was a dark-green formation plate surrounded with waves of green Qi. The figure of a Nascent Soul could be faintly seen sitting cross-legged within the smoke and appeared to be breathing the smoke in and out as if it were cultivating something.
At the corners of the sealed room, there were four old men sitting cross-legged who each held a dark green spell flag in their hands. The flags were all pointed at the circular plate at the center of the room and they released faint threads of green smoke that slowly spread towards the plate.
This strange scene almost appeared as if painted. The room was completely silent.
After an unknown amount of time, the four old men appeared to have grown tired and the Nascent Soul within the green mist became more stable and clearer to see.
The red-haired old man sitting in one of the corners put away the flag and stood up, cupping his fist to the other three in the room. "I can't thank you Fellow Daoists enough for your hard work. After a few more days, Junior Martial Brother Gui will be able to recover."
Once this was said, the other three also put away their spell flags. The pale beardless old man among them hastily returned the salute and chuckled, saying, "There is no need for Brother Hun to appear overly courteous. I've known Brother Gui for many years. Using a bit of my strength for him is only natural."
The red-haired old man then took a brief glance at the Nascent Soul sitting cross-legged and sincerely said, "Regardless of how it is said, my Junior Martial Brother and I will always remember this kindness."
The pale old man chuckled and said, "Don't be so formal, Fellow Daoist Hun!"
The red-haired old man's expression sank and he sullenly said, "That's right. We've been trapped here since the very beginning to assist Immortal Gui over the loss of his Nascent Soul. We don't yet know if there was more information on the foreign cultivator. We all know how incredibly rare it is for Gold Devouring Beetles to lay eggs. It is truly hard to believe there are others in this world capable of controlling over ten thousand of them. Since I was late to arrive, I didn't join the battle to trap the foreign cultivator. He must've been fearsome since he took down three Nascent Soul stage Immortals."
When he said this, the other three exchanged a glance and revealed faint dread on their faces.
The pale old man sighed and said, "How could there be such a fearsome person? In addition to his Gold Devouring Beetles, he can also release purple flames and golden lightning. Of the first group of Nascent Soul Immortals to block his path, there were two who perished as a result of these two techniques. The golden lightning trapped one of the Immortal's Nascent Soul and the purple flame easily destroyed it. As for the second Immortal, he would've died no matter how careful he would've been."
"Not only that, but he also controls fearsome magic treasures," the plump old man added on with a fearful expression, "He has a strange set of gold-azure flying swords that number around sixty or seventy, all of them incredibly sharp. There were many treasures destroyed by those swords. Not to mention that wicked pair of wings on his back that are capable of lightning movement without an incantation, making him nearly impossible to catch. Brother Hun may jest over the matter, but when the seven of us surrounded him at the time, we felt our backs drenched in sweat from an immense fear of death. Just as we were on the verge of retreating for the time being, one of the Grand Elders fortunately responded to our summons on time and he launched a sneak attack on the foreign cultivator and heavily injured him with the Elemental Immortalwrest Palm. After the foreign cultivator was injured, he instantly transformed into a crimson blur and broke through the encirclement. We attempted to use our spiritual sense to find him, but we couldn't find a single trace of him. The Grand Elder explained that this person has already fled hundreds of kilometers away and we were unable to pursue him as a result."
The red-haired old man wore an unsightly expression and asked, "Could it be this person is actually a famous top grade cultivator from one of the grand sects of the Great Jin Empire? It is no wonder that only one of Junior Martial Brother Gui's Six Essence Soul Divisions was barely able to escape him."
"There is no need for Brother Hun to worry. You should know the might of the Elemental Immortalwrest Palm. Even if that person escaped from this land, the strike should've greatly damaged his cultivation. There is no need to fear him. Furthermore, the guest that accompanied the saintess from the Great Jin is residing in a nearby Endless Sky Temple. If that person is a cultivator from the Great Jin, the guest should know of his strange abilities. We will be able to better deal with this cultivator after we figure out how to deal with him. Even if this person is truly a cultivator from a powerful sect from the Great Jin, the Grand Elders won't let him go after killing so many of our Nascent Soul Immortals. Besides, his methods of breeding such a vast number of Gold Devouring Beetles must also be investigated." The pale-faced old man spoke with a tone of resentment. It appeared he had suffered quite a bit in his battle with Han Li.
"I hope that is the case," the red-haired old man muttered, "But fortunately, the cultivator's Gold Devouring Beetles haven't yet fully matured. Otherwise, he would've forced even the four Great Elders to retreat if he would've released ten thousand of them."
When the other old men heard this, they exchanged a glance and could only bitterly smile. As Soaring Tribes Immortals, they naturally knew the might of fully mature Gold Devouring Beetles.
Just as the old men in the room felt at ease, the Nascent Soul sitting cross-legged in the green mist suddenly let out a piercing shriek and its hands held its head as it rolled around in great anguish. Its body appeared as if on the verge of dissipating.
"Not good! Everyone, quickly take action!" The red-haired old man immediately shouted in alarm.
When the other old men saw what was happening, they knew matters had turned for the worse and they quickly summoned the spell flags once more. Under the control of their spell seals, four clouds of green mist shot towards the center of the room and enveloped the Nascent Soul in an attempt to restore it.
Time slowly passed by as the four old men mustered their might and the screaming from within the green mist lessened. After a moment more, the Nascent Soul was calmly sitting cross-legged once more as it attempted to absorb the green mist with all of its strength.
After an unknown amount of time, the Nascent Soul softly spoke as if attempting to catch its breath, "Many... Many thanks for your great assistance. I am fine... now... You may stop."
When the four old men heard this, they felt a wave of relief and ceased their casting. To tell the truth, they had been straining themselves after doing this for so long. Although they were still able to push themselves to continue, their vitality and strength would suffer as a result.
The pale old man couldn't help but ask, "Brother Gui, what caused your Nascent Soul to disperse once more? This is extremely dangerous."
The Nascent Soul gritted its teeth and said, "Fel-... Fellow Daoists, please don't worry. Nothing else will happen. It's just that... my link with my Gold Devouring Beetle was severed. My spirit... spiritual sense was affected."
The red-haired old man felt his heart drop and he asked in alarm, "What?! The Gold Devouring Beetle had perished? How had he done this? Mature Gold Devouring Beetles are nearly invulnerable. How could they be easily destroyed?"
After a moment of thought, the pale old man said, "This isn't anything odd. Without Brother Gui to personally command them, their destruction was inevitable. After all, there are a few top grade Devil Dao techniques able to directly strike at their souls without striking at their body."
"Oh? In that case, this person must be a Devil Dao cultivator," the fourth shriveled old man hesitantly said, "But when we first fought against him, a majority of his techniques didn't appear to come from the Devil Dao."
When that was said, the many cultivators looked at each other in dismay as silence filled the room.
Meanwhile in a faraway place, Han Li was taking a deep breath inside the carriage. He felt quite a bit of relief in his heart. After half a month of continuous effort, he eventually managed to wipe away the soul in the mature Gold Devouring Beetle and absorbed it into the Yin Sifting Banner. During this time, the Grey Heron Tribe didn't disturb him even once, much to Han Li's unexpected delight.
Of course, he was completely ignorant that he had nearly exterminated the owner of the Gold Devouring Beetle in the instant he destroyed the souls.
He waved his hand and grasped at the black devilish Qi in front of him. In a gust of wind, a small black flag flew out from the mist and into his hand. The remaining black mist roiled and transformed into a black-green Nascent Soul. It was holding a huge sparkling golden beetle in its hand. Below the Nascent Soul was a white jade box with all of its seals removed.
Han Li fiddled with the small flag in his hand and swept his gaze past the golden beetle. The beetle was half a foot long and had a pair of vicious inch-long fangs along with a fiendish appearance. It was several times larger than Han Li's own Gold Devouring Beetles.
However, the beetle was completely soulless and lacked any vigor.
After some thought, he reached out to the Yin Sifting Banner and a fist-sized ball of green light flew out, revolving once in front of him before dropping down.
The soft green light appeared exactly the same as the mature Gold Devouring Beetle, but it was smaller and its body was tainted black with shining scarlet eyes.
"Go!" Han Li pointed at it and the Gold Devouring Beetle's soul shot into its original body in a streak of black light.
Crimson light immediately flashed from the huge golden beetle and it unfurled its wings before flying around Han Li's second Nascent Soul.
With a happy expression on his face, Han Li muttered, "If I guessed correctly, it should be fine if I treat this insect as a refined demon corpse. Although its power is far less than the original, it should still be exceptionally powerful. If I wish to truly control it, I will have to refine it with devilish Qi once through."